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It was before the 1990 football season, and I flew from Los Angeles to Denver and drove to the University of Colorado to try to meet with Kanavis McGhee. He was a big, pass-rushing linebacker who was expected to be a high pick in the 1991 NFL draft. I was 20 years old—the youngest agent ever certified by the NFL Players Association—and had less than a year's experience, but for whatever reason I convinced myself that I had a shot with him.
I figured out where Kanavis lived, drove to his apartment and knocked on the door. No one answered, so I waited. About four hours later, Kanavis finally came home and I bum-rushed him at the door.
"Hey, Kanavis, my name is Josh Luchs. I'm a sports agent, and I flew here from Los Angeles specifically for you," I said. "You're a great player and I came a long way, and I'd really appreciate it if you would sit down and talk to me for a few minutes."
Kanavis said, "Sure, man. Come on in."
We sat on his couch, and I gave him my spiel. I told him about myself and asked him questions, trying to connect with him. After about half an hour, Kanavis said to me, "Josh, you seem like a pretty good guy, can I share something with you?"
"I need some help. My mom lost her job and she's sick and she hasn't been able to make her rent. If I don't come up with $2,500, she is going to get evicted from her apartment."
"I don't know," I said. "Let me think about it. I'll come by tomorrow and let you know."
That night I sat in my hotel room making a list of pros and cons in my head. Sure, it was breaking NCAA rules, but I would be helping Kanavis out. How would I feel if my mom was sick and I didn't have money to help her? I went through this for hours and finally decided to do it. The next morning I went to the bank, pulled out some of my bar mitzvah money, $2,500 in cash, showed up at Kanavis's door and told him, "Kanavis, I gave this a lot of thought, and I want to help you out. I know how I would feel if it was my mom."
"Thank you so much," he said. "You're my boy, man. You're really coming through for me."